The children at San Pedro Elementary School in San Rafael’s Canal District were noisy coming into the room, but became quiet and very attentive responding to their principal. Roberta Wain-Becker set the scene and asked how many have already been to an opera. Almost all raised their hands. Everyone repeated the funny name of “Engelbert Humperdinck” and giggled. Everyone was quiet during the breath holding game. They laughed when Hansel fell down. They were spellbound during Gretel’s aria engrossed in this beautiful music! They cheered when the Witch was pushed into the paper drawing of an Oven.
One child even had created a book of the whole story, from our advance preparation activities study guide for teachers. She came up front afterwards and asked, “Why is the opera not exactly the same story as in the fairy tale?” We had several children come on stage and try singing. The tiniest shyly scrunched her shoulders together, and then took a deep breath and sang, “Ah ah, ah ah ah____”… on 5 pitches and back down again to tremendous applause from the room filled with children. A photo like this showing the kids so engrossed make us really happy to be doing the outreach, bringing them the arts.
Last year our volunteers arranged for over 2,000 children to receive sponsored tickets and to work with Golden Gate Opera’s artistic staff.
Contact us to arrange for Golden Gate Opera to speak to your PTA to share our plans, possible discounts for your school, and the value of the upcoming production to youth. Contact GGO Outreach Coordinator at 415-370-1722.
Through public and private sponsorships, GGO has been able to provide tickets for in-need families and children to attend our public performances free of charge. GGO has developed relationships with numerous community-based organizations that serve this population, including:
Marin Foster Parent Association
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marin and Napa
Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Francisco and the Peninusula
Boys & Girls Clubs
Bayview Opera House of Hunter’s Point
Home Away from Homelessness
Friends for Youth
Parents Without Partners
Field trip to the Opera
We at GGO are committed to exposing young people to Opera. To this end, we often offer the Opera-tunity for Teachers to bring their students to the dress rehearsal in the theatre. We usually offer a condensed version of our opera with singers and costumes that we bring to schools.